Build Your Brand  

Six Tips for Surviving a Book Signing

 Aug 12, 2016

It’s been almost a year since the release of Skrik op die Lyf, an Afrikaans horror anthology featuring 46 authors of which I was lucky enough to be one. Whether put together by yourself or arranged by your publisher, a book release or signing is a milestone occasion for any author. Simply put, it’s understandable if you’re nervous as hell.

Here are some of my tips for taking the edge off.

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Attitude  

7 Things You Should Know about a Writer's Health

 Nov 15, 2016

Let's talk about your health. Every occupation has its hazards, and for writers, the list can be varied: from arthritis (Martina Cole) and spinal injuries that can make sitting down a real pain in the ass (Stephen King), to debilitating addiction (Hemingway). Are you as healthy as you could be?

Author's note: The internet makes for a terrible doctor. Consult yours if you've been experiencing health issues of absolutely any kind. The intent of this article is not to diagnose, but simply to alert you to the kind of symptoms for which you should be on the lookout.  

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Language  

Five Ways Fiction Needs Fact

 Jul 26, 2016

Fiction, by nature, is all about making things up. But even fiction has to abide by some facts. Whenever you use an existing environment, things like lingo and location have to make sense to the reader, and the author is expected to get it right. Think about it: if you write about South Africa, a reader from SA would know that traffic lights are commonly called ‘robots’, and that ‘football’ isn’t always ‘soccer’.

Here’s why fiction needs fact—and how to keep it on target.

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Characters  

Breathing Life into Your Characters

 Nov 29, 2016

Good characters are real. They’re made from flesh, blood, and ink. They've got families and histories, likes and dislikes. Even the girl behind the register who only says two lines in chapter seven might have a quirky turn of phrase.

If you’re looking to write good characters, you need to get under their skin first. Here's a few tricks to help you do just that.

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Editing Tips  

How to Breathe New Life into Old Fiction

 Jan 17, 2017

Every writer has them: stories you wrote and then forgot about, stories you could never quite get a handle on and have put away, or ones that got rejected into shameful exile at the bottom of the desk drawer. These are almost always worth another look, and with some tweaking they might turn into gems. Here’s how to breathe life back into an old story.

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